What you need to know from Google I/O 2021

What you need to know from Google I/O 2021

May 26th, 2021 by Alex Kinsella

It’s summer and that means one thing – it’s developer conference season! Our team here at BitBakery followed along with the virtual Google I/O 2021 conference last week and we’re here with our top four takeaways.

Another step closer to safer passwords

We’ve written before about password safety. It’s something we take very seriously, especially since we’re trusted by our clients to log in and manage their CMS and other backend systems for different projects.

There’s a familiar shudder we all feel when we hear about a data breach on a service that you have an active account on. Did you use that same password on multiple services? How do you reset that password? There are a number of services from companies like Mozilla and others that will alert you when a breach happens on a service that you use – but you still have to do the legwork to change your password.

Google announced a new feature in Chrome for Android that will not only alert you to a data breach, but will also guide you directly to where you need to go to change your password. The new feature will even suggest stronger passwords for you to use – something we always recommend.

We’re living in a Material You world

According to Google, there are now over 3 billion active Android-powered devices across the globe. At Google I/O 2021, the next iteration of the operating system – Android 12 – was announced by demonstrating their new look and feel. 

GIF source: Google

Powered by the next generation of their Material Design that Google calls Material You, Android 12 contains some major changes to the look and feel of Android. Material You lets you choose colour pallets to truly make your Android device your own. These changes can be based on the wallpaper you use or even based on colours within one of your favourite photos in Google Photos.

While Material You looks amazing, we’re not sure how the various OEM device manufacturers will use it. To get the best experience, you’ll need to stick with a Google-made Pixel phone to get the full experience. “It’s one of the challenges with Android,” said Attila Schmidt, our Director of User Experience – and our most loyal Pixel user. “Developers will need to update their apps to take advantage of Material You, so the whole experience might not be there when some people update their operating systems.”

Bringing teams closer together

One of the biggest complaints from businesses that rely on Google Workspace for collaboration and productivity is that you need multiple tabs to manage the different applications. You can have a Google Doc open in one tab, a Google Hangout in another, and Google Drive in a third. Switching back and forth can be cumbersome – and who amongst us hasn’t accidentally closed a Google Hangout instead of a Google Doc tab?

GIF source: Google

Coming soon to a Chrome tab near year is Google Smart Canvas. The new feature will combine the productivity tools you use most – Drive, Hangouts, and Workspace apps like Docs and Sheets – into one window. You’ll be able to chat and collaborate without having to switch tabs.

Google’s Smart Canvas also includes a new feature called Smart Chips. Today, when you’re leaving a comment, you can use the @ symbol to mention someone. With Smart Chips, you’ll get a set of building blocks that let you create everything from a meeting invite to a to-do list to even starting a Hangout. It’s a great evolution within Google Workspace – we’re excited to be able to use it for blog reviews and when we’re collaborating on documentation for clients.

Ever feel like you’re talking to a wall?

Google demoed a new dialog application technology called LaMDA. The technology allows for multiple conversation flows to be triggered from a question – bringing AI-powered chatbots closer to real-world conversations. 

GIF source: Google

During the keynote, Google showed off a conversation flow with a paper airplane – something that we didn’t know we needed, but now can’t wait to try out ourselves.

Our team is constantly keeping ahead of what’s happening across the mobile and desktop operating systems your customers depend on. Want to know more about how we work with you to make sure your customers have consistent, amazing experiences? Get in contact with us today!


November 10th, 2022 by Wes Worsfold
How to use Slack for better communication
October 1st, 2021 by Rachel Hickey
Welcome to our newest BitBaker - Peter Kingsbury
March 4th, 2021 by Rachel Hickey
5 lessons on managing remote employees from Waterloo leaders